Battle on the reef LIVE updates: Some of the NRL’s biggest hitters clash on a star-studded card

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Stop the fight?

Paulo Aukuso’s manager implored the Australian Olympian not to go ahead with his fight against Gabriel Omar Diaz.

Aukuso has had a horrible preparation, battling injuries and dealing with a heart attack to his manager less than three weeks ago. It’s little wonder, when he stepped on the scales for yesterday’s weigh-in, that he was 1.5kg over the limit.

The fight will go on regardless, but at significant cost to Aukuso. This bout was meant to be for the IBO intercontinental light-heavyweight title, but the belt will now only be awarded if Diaz is the winner. Aukuso will also have to pay Diaz – who travelled all the way from Argentina – a financial penalty of about $5000.

Paulo Aukuso (right) wasn’t able to make the weight in his fight against Gabriel Omar Diaz.Credit: Stan Sport/Dynamic Events

Aukuso’s advisor, Fidel Tukel, said it was the worst preparation he had overseen in a 300-fight career.

“I’m his advisor and my advice to him two-and-a-half weeks ago was to pull the plug,” Aukuso said. “He said no.”

The fight will go ahead and Aukuso is adamant he will win it.

“One thing about me, I was never going to pull out,” Aukuso said.

“A lot of it is my fault, I didn’t do things the right way. It’s a lesson for me. I’m still going to take this guy out on his back.”

What’s on the menu?

Battle on the Reef fight card

  • Paulo Aokuso v Gabriel Omar Diaz for the IBO Intercontinental Light-Heavyweight Title​
  • Jason Taumalolo v Reagan Campbell-Gillard (heavyweight)
  • ​Tevita Pangai Junior v Frank Amato (heavyweight)
  • ​​Nelson Asofa-Solomona v Jarrod Wallace (heavyweight)​​
  • Junior Paulo v Ben Hannant (heavyweight)​​
  • Justin Hodges v Matt Cooper (heavyweight)​​
  • Jermaine Pangai v Nepote Dawadawa (heavyweight)​
  • Austin Aokuso v Filimoni Naliva Jr (cruiserweight)

Howdy partners!

Good evening to the Battle on the Reef!

We’re coming to you from ringside at the Townsville Entertainment & Convention Centre, where football meets fighting.

We have a stacked card full of current and former NRL champions, as well as rising star of the ring Paulo Aukuso.

Tevita Pangai Junior is ready to make a statement.Credit: Stan Sport

So much to look forward to … the punching power of Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Tevita Pangai Junior’s first fight since committing to boxing full-time as well as Jason Taumalolo, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Jarrod Wallace, Ben Hannant, Justin Hodges and many more throwing down.

And if you’re not in Townsville and want to catch all the action, you can watch all the Battle on The Reef action live and exclusive on Stan Pay-Per-View.

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